So you’ve enjoyed the first-year Introduction to the New Testament and you’re thinking it could be fun to do a bit more next year? Great! We’ve put together this guide as a starting point to think about a possible progression through years 2 and 3 of your degree. There is a choice of advanced New Testament papers, the compulsory dissertation, and a variety of options for further study of the biblical languages.
New Testament Papers in Years 2 and 3
2103 The Gospels (available every year)
3102 Paul and Pauline Tradition (available every year)
You may also like to consider one of the advanced papers. Topics vary and may or may not be repeated in subsequent years. Detailed topics and prescribed texts for these will be announced no later than the Hilary Term of your second year. For this coming year (2018-2019) they include:
3109 New Testament Theology: Scripture and the Creeds
3110 Study of a New Testament Book: Hebrews
3310 Varieties of Judaism
The Undergraduate Thesis (3000)
All FHS students write a 12,000-word undergraduate dissertation, which is due on Monday of Week 9 of Hilary Term in your third year. Although you are relatively free to identify a subject on which you would like to write, post-holders and other Faculty members working in the area would be delighted to advise you on a choice of topic relating to the New Testament. Before you get too far into your second year, do make an appointment with one of us to talk this through and discuss possible supervision!
Biblical Languages in Years 2-3
You may well want to pick up one or both of the major biblical languages, whether or not you have had a chance to do so during your first year. Consider the following opportunities:
- Each year there are classes on the prescribed texts in Greek for the Gospels (2103) and Paul (3102) papers. Do come along, whether you’d like to prepare these texts for the exam or just to keep up your interest in Greek.
- There will be opportunities for further study of prescribed texts in Greek associated with one or more of the advanced papers, especially 3110 “Study of a New Testament Book”. In 2018-2019 this paper will be on Hebrews.
- Prelim Hebrew students and others without prior knowledge of Greek are more than welcome to contact Dr Cressida Ryan (New Testament Greek Instructor) about joining a relevant beginner’s class in their second year, although it will not be possible to offer beginners’ Greek as one of your eight FHS papers. You do nevertheless have the option of going on to attend language classes on the prescribed texts for FHS New Testament papers and to answer gobbets in Greek.
- Prelim Greek students and others without prior knowledge of Hebrew are welcome to contact Dr Alinda Damsma (Biblical Hebrew Instructor) about joining a relevant beginner’s class in their second year, although it will not be possible to offer beginners’ Hebrew as one of your eight FHS papers. You do nevertheless have the option of going on to attend Hebrew tutorials on the prescribed texts for FHS Old Testament papers (including 2102 (The Poetic World of the Hebrew Bible) and where appropriate the Further Studies in The Hebrew Bible papers (3103-3108)) and to answer gobbets in Hebrew.
- Alternatively or in addition, you may wish to enrol in the extracurricular provision for beginners’ and intermediate Biblical Hebrew offered through the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, including a summer school.
Intensive External Courses in Greek and Hebrew
- A number of organizations in the UK, North America and Israel offer intensive introductory summer courses in Greek, Hebrew and occasionally other cognate ancient languages. If taught well, these can represent a highly effective introduction that would enable you in a short period to acquire sufficient facility to take more advanced language classes. Please contact one of the relevant language Instructors or post-holders in Biblical Studies for advice. The possibility of an Oxford summer school in biblical languages has also been discussed from time to time.